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José Noriel Portillo Gil, alias “El Chueco”, one of the most sought after cartel figures in Mexico, has been found dead. 

The Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) – Chapitos affiliated member became infamous nationwide after he killed two Jesuit priests in Urique, Chihuahua. 

Warning: Some graphic images below this point.

The Remains

The body was located on Saturday, March 18, 2023, on a dirt road in the Sindicatura de Picachos, in the municipality of Choix, in the state of Sinaloa. Choix is notably near the Sinaloa border with Chihuahua and close to Chueco’s homeplace of Urique. 

Initial reports from Reforma allege he was executed. At least one gunshot wound is visible on his neck in images alleged to depict his remains. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that the National Guard and the Secretary of National Defense are investigating the remains in order to officially identify the body. 

Why did he kill the priests? 

In June 2022, a baseball team sponsored by El Chueco lost a game in a regional, non-professional league. Chueco, a hot-tempered man, reportedly blamed the loss on a call by the game’s umpire.

The next day, Chueco visited the umpire’s residence – only to find that he wasn’t home at the time. The umpire’s brother Paul Osvaldo made an innocuous comment as Chueco was leaving which seemed to trigger his anger which led Chueco to kill Paul.  

Chueco then drove to a small hotel in the center of town, where he partied in the lobby while consuming excessive amounts of cocaine. A 60-year old tour guide named Pedro Palma asked Chueco if he could quiet down so that his tour guests could get some rest. This request enraged Chueco and he attacked Palma, likely shooting him.

Palma, now severely wounded, fled the lobby and stumbled into the building next door, the town’s church. Two of the priests inside were attempting to aid the bleeding tour guide when Chueco entered the church, with a gun in hand. Chueco shot all three men dead, the tour guide and the two priests.

To read all the details of what happened, such as the kidnapping of Paul’s family, what happened to the umpire, and the third priest in the church that day, please check out this previous story.

Update 11:25 CST

Newspaper El Diario de Chihuahua is reporting that their sources at the state Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the man found dead is El Chueco.

Diario further details that it was Choix municipal police officers who found El Chueco. They say 12 bullets were found near his body.  

Update 11:35 CST 

Los Noticieristas writes that the sister of El Chueco traveled to Sinaloa and viewed the remains. They report that his sister confirmed that the deceased was indeed, José Noriel Portillo, “El Chueco”.

Impacto TV alleges that the 12 shell casings found near the body were either 9mm or 7.62×39mm.

Update 11:45 CST

More images of the remains from GhostDeviil on Twitter. 

Update 3:30 CST 

El Pais writes that there were actually 16 -not 12- spent shell casings found near Chueco’s body.

They allege that by the time the human remains were noticed by a neighbor, who quickly called the municipal police, Chueco had already laid dead for 24 hours prior. The remains were found on dirt road in between the small towns of El Chinal and Picachos.

The state Attorney General’s Office announced that they would be DNA testing the body in order to verify the identity.

Catch Up on Any El Chueco Stories You Missed

June 23 Article

June 27 Article

July 1 Article

July 12 Article